Friday, January 27, 2017

February at a Glance

If this blog post were a classic movie, this is where the camera would zoom in on a page-a-day calendar showing February 1st. Then the pages would begin flying off and landing on the floor--zipping through the month of February in record time. Russell and Allen gave me a rundown of Sowers4Pastors’ February schedule, and, for the shortest month of the year, it is full of activity. Of course, that news surprises no one who knows them. Keep in mind, the information contained in this post isn’t even touching on their normal day-to-day activities--things like maintenance on the farm, food distribution, and making sure they still have incoming water. It’s also not touching on things like Russell having to hand the phone off to Allen because he had to go change a flat tire on a Land Cruiser.

Many Dirt Roads Diverged

It’s a good thing Russell is changing that flat tire, because he’s going to be running hither and yon. (And, I must say, it sounds like Honduras has a lot more hithers and yons than my suburban life!) He’ll be traveling about an hour and a half into the mountains to deliver around 110 filled backpacks to children at the feeding center in Arenales.

Then, he’ll travel on a dirt road about an hour and a half in a different direction to Las Crucitas. There, he’ll hand out 113 backpacks.

In Guacutao, which is about 45 minutes in yet another direction, he’ll be registering about 50 kindergarteners into the sponsorship program. He’ll also be handing out backpacks to the children who missed getting theirs earlier, when the recent team was visiting the area, because they were out in the fields harvesting coffee.

Wait a minute! There’s still another direction to cover! The other directions mentioned were for the Sister Church Program. The one about to be mentioned will be for a Manna 4 Lempira program. Russell will travel 20 minutes on a paved road and then 20 minutes on a rugged dirt road to register about 25 children on a waiting list in Asomada.

Preparations to Be Made

A Bridge in a Week team will be building a bridge on February 18-25th. You’ve probably been around long enough to know that means the Sowers will be gathering supplies and preparing for the team.

They’re also in the process of preparing for the Pastors’ Training School classes, which are set to begin the first week of March. That means multiple meetings in February. First year pastors must be interviewed before their enrollment is complete. Sowers4Pastors is also doing prep work for the first month of classes.

The final process for the recent coffee harvest is going on, but it’s already time to prepare for the next coffee season. A sandbank will be put up to construct a nursery. 60,000 seeds will be planted in hopes of getting 30,000 viable trees. The plan is to plant 10 new acres of coffee in the coming year. Workers will be getting ready for the dry season by  putting rust protection and anti-fungal protection on the coffee plants, and spraying fertilizer on the trees that will blossom in March.

By Land, By Sea and By Really Steep Hill

The Sowers are about to head off to the big city to procure a new (to them) pickup truck and sell their old truck (the one purchased in Dec of 2015). The newer vehicle is only newer by one year, but it has half the mileage of the old truck. Plus, it has only had one owner, versus being owned by a rental company, and has the upgraded engine that Allen wanted, but couldn't find available, when the previous truck was purchased. While a newer truck will be a welcome addition to the household, no one is looking forward to the extra paperwork that comes along with a vehicle purchase in Honduras.

Allen and Russell are still pushing for the customs paperwork to go through so the shipping container can start its journey to Honduras. He’s working on adding a set of forklift batteries to the container, because, with Russell and Iris now living on the property, they are using a lot more power.

Recently, Allen and Russell went out to look at a bridge and water project. He got a call from a location about bringing water from the source, 7 kilometers from the village, down a mountain, including jumping across a deep gully. When Allen went out to survey the site, he walked more than a mile downhill to a river, where the water pipe will need to cross. As he described the Honduran roads, “Many of them are paths where the road might have been bulldozed once and that might have been decades ago. There’s not a lot of road maintenance.” Allen shared what he was thinking as he struggled down the steep path: “To get back, I’m going to have to get out of here by going uphill!

For the Sowers’ sake, aren’t you glad February is a short month?

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